Parents forced to buy complete set of books, face harassment : The Tribune India

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Parents forced to buy complete set of books, face harassment

Say individual books not available in any store across city

Parents forced to buy complete set of books, face harassment

Parents purchase books at a store in Jalandhar on Saturday. Photo: Sarabjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Avneet Kaur

Jalandhar, April 6

Despite private schools claiming that they are complying with the state government directives by providing a list of recommended shops for purchasing books for the new academic session, parents continue to face harassment.

They report that while complete set of books is available with recommended shopkeepers, individual books are not available in any bookstore across the city. The situation has exacerbated the burden on parents, who are visiting several shops to inquire about the availability of individual books. They are compelled to purchase the complete set of books from one of the recommended shops.

Manish Gupta, a parent, said shopkeepers told him that while schools have arranged complete sets for LKG to Class VIII, individual books were not available as these were to be sourced from private publishers. He alleged these publishers had subcontracted distribution to a select few contractors who exclusively supply to certain retailers.

Lokesh Mishra, a resident, visited several bookshops at Mahiran Gate in search of LKG books for his daughter, but to no avail. He said despite Mahiran Gate being a renowned book market, he was left with no choice but to buy the complete set of books from the recommended shop in Phagwara.

Other parents also voiced concerns over the monopoly of private schools, emphasising the lack of options for purchasing individual books.

Parents said if books were to be exclusively available at recommended shops and that too only complete set, schools should directly sell these on their premises. They criticised the Education Department for its failure to check this practice.

When questioned about the absence of individual books, a bookshop owner at Mahiran Gate said they were not receiving supplies from the backend. He said while stocking individual books would allow them to offer better prices to customers, they were at present limited to selling complete set of books provided by schools.

DEO Suresh Kumar said the Education Department was conducting regular inspections. Schools found indulging in wrong practices would face consequences.

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